Songs Of The Unhinged
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2006
D'flowered in Scotland. A musical comedy guaranteed to offend. Good songs. Really bad lyrics.
I am gobsmacked. Lannigan has performed on stage in London and on Broadway, tok the title role of stage play Beethoven: Genius Unleashed, played double bass in the BBC Symphony Orchestra for several years and has played backing for Robbie Williams, Madonna and the Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings movies.
So where on earth did this extraordinary show come from? From his worst nightmares perhaps.
After a long and pretentious film prologue combining The Da Vinci Code with Omen-style music and forboding satanic voice-over, Lannigan finally appears in the flesh looking like the Rene half of tragically forgotten Eigties duo Rene and Renato with a moustache on his lip and a Carmen Miranda pineapple hat atop his head, singing, 'Braaa--zillll! You know we always shoot to killllll...'
At least, I think that's what he sang. I am beginning to think I dreamed the whole show. The next hour showed an puerile 4th form schoolboy obsession with excreta, g bodily functions, sex and underwear. I loved it.
And then we have religion and terrorism and Al Qaeda, references to the Twin Tower attacks and shots of the shoe bomber in the overly-arty film inserts, plus quotes like, 'One man's terrorism is another man's fetish' and, 'for every action, there is an equal and opposite reactionary'.
The high point for me was a performance of the old comedy song The Laughing Policeman with lyrics changed to refer to having cancer. Oh, and an Ipanema-less version of the bossa nova classic The Girl From Ballymena sung in Portugese with English subtitles.
I have absolutely no idea what any of this show was about and I suspect neither does Lannigan. If you like genuine alternative comedy that is utterly unpredictable, constantly stimulating and possibly pointless nonsense, this is for you. I recommend it highly.
Anarchy at its very best, but you couldn't really give it four stars.